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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Earliest ancestor question
In Response To: Earliest ancestor question ()

My ancestor Elijah (Lige) Rider would have been born around 1827 since he told the Dawes roll interviewers that he was around 73 or 74 in May 1901 in Vinita, Oklahoma (he didn't know his age and had to estimate)/ Census records show he was born in Alabama. He said that his parents were Jack and Rachel Ratliff and that they were slaves to Richard Ratliff (or the other variations of the name). Family oral history says that Elijah's father was possibly the slave owner, the Cherokee Richard Ratliff (the older one.. my great grandmother's sister, Elijah's great grandchildren, said Elijah's parents were "Ol Massa" and his slave girl so since Ratliffe owned Jack and Rachel (according to the census card) I've always assumed that he was the "Ol Massa"). Whether it be Jack or Richard Ratliff, they and Rachel may have been born in the late 1700s or early 1800s I believe. They were listed as Cherokee Freedmen. There may be another ancestor who was born in the 1700s through other ancestors of mine that I have located but Elijah comes to mind this late at night because I have his interview, and my relatives in the 1960s were still talking about him as "a mulatto, the son of "Ol Massa" and his slave girl.

But when Elijah (Lige) Rider talked to the interviewer in Vinita. He told them Jack as his father's name. I've wondered about this often. Perhaps the story passed down was wrong, perhaps he didn't want to tell the interviewer his father was the slave owner. I'm not sure about this. My mother knew his daughter in law Annie Rider (my g-g-g grandmother). I may need to run this by her and see if she remembers anything being told her about "Ol Massa".


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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